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NELA Music Trail honors Gene Stewart

The Northeast Louisiana Music Trail will unveil a historical marker honoring regional country and rock 'n' roll star Gene Stewart on Saturday, March 25 at 12 p.m. at the Richland Parish Courthouse in downtown Rayville, Louisiana. A reception and live music will be held following the unveiling at the town Gazebo near the Civic Center.

According to the text of the marker, Stewart was born in Carthage, Mississippi, but moved to Rayville, Louisiana when he was only four. He began playing guitar, singing, and writing songs with his mother and cousins on the farm. In high school, Stewart formed the band "Gene Stewart and the Country Rebels." The band became regulars at the Twin City Jamboree in West Monroe and at the Auction Barn in Delhi.

Stewart served in the U.S. Army and continued to play with bands at Fort Hood and in Germany. After returning home, he formed "The Rockin' Rebels," which opened for Jerry Lee Lewis and was featured at festivals and clubs throughout the region. In the studio, Stewart's recording of "Rub it In" on Camaro Records became an instant hit. Other songs included "It's Not Much, But It's Home," about Rayville, and "The Face of an Angel" which became the most requested hit in local country radio.

Following his musical career, Stewart worked for the U.S. Postal Service and later became a Realtor and real estate broker.

NELA Music Trail founder Doyle Jeter says, "The Northeast Louisiana Music Trail was founded to honor the rich musical heritage of northeast Louisiana. It wouldn't be complete without a marker for Gene Stewart."

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Jay calls himself a "media producer" in a world of diversification. Jay earned a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film Production from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and worked in video, feature film and television production for over 10 years before joining KEDM full time.